Thursday, 9 October 2014

Shetland Isles - Another one of those days

Day 7
Overnight gales continued into the morning so it was a slow start to the day. When the rain had eased a bit we headed off to Eswick for another search for the Little Bunting.The bird had been seen on the sheltered side of a small wood at it wasnt long before it appeared in a ditch.
Little Bunting, Eswick
I can't remember where we all went after that. I remember getting good views of Jack Snipe and looking for a reported Corncrake but I do have a vivid recollection of what happened after the Mega alert went off. All we knew from a corrupted message, was that a Mega had been found somewhere on the Shetland Isles. The sensible thing to do was to head for the main road and wait. We didnt get to the main road before the lead car came to a sudden halt and Julian jumped out in a state of great excitement. The exact words can't be repeated for legal reasons, probably, but the gist was Siberian Rubythroat - Levenwick. Yes, the one every Shetland birder wants. In the excitement we or rather the driver set off in the wrong direction. We travelled half a mile before we realised. We were so close to Levenwick it didnt really matter. We joined the throng trying to get a glimpse of the bird amongst the dense foliage of a garden. I managed to get a position where I could view a small open area between two bushes. A couple of times a bird dashed across the open ground but the views were poor. It was sometime before I got the view I wanted. The bird stopped to feed, front on, showing its distinctive throat pattern which stood out even in the dim light under the bushes. Yes, brilliant. Several other birder got the same view so there was alot of clenching of fists and hand shaking. Many thanks to the finder, Dan Pointon. Many birders went home very happy that evening.
The bird relocated to a familiar garden the next day and I managed to get a couple of images.
Siberian Rubythroat, Levenwick

Siberian Rubythroat
To celebrate Keith prepared a few nibbles (which didnt last long enough to photograph) to go with a few beers, a sample of which is shown here.

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